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South Carolina Senate Committee Passes "Guns in Bars" Bill

A bill called “Guns in Bars” is taking a step to becoming a state law in South Carolina after the Judiciary Committee passed it in front of a senate by a 15-7 vote.

As many states are trying to limit the places guns are allowed, South Carolina is trying to add to the number of places concealed weapons can be carried.

If it becomes a law, it would mean legalization of carrying a concealed weapon into bars and other establishments serving alcohol. Many people opposing the bill think mixing alcohol and guns is a horrible idea.

Though it at first seems troublesome, the bill has some details that might bring a little more ease.

“Guns in Bars” would make it optional for establishments to allow weapons, so if a bar did not want them present, they could post a sign outside the bar saying weapons are not allowed.

Those entering a bar with a gun also would not be allowed to drink alcohol.

Sean Bennett, the bill’s sponsor, said he was prompted to make the bill after people told him it wasn’t fair they couldn’t bring their concealed weapons to restaurants that serve alcohol.

He said he knows alcohol and guns are a dangerous combination, and that’s why he added the provision about people not being allowed to drink when they’re carrying a weapon.

“I completely agree. Guns and alcohol do not mix. That’s why very specifically in this bill we tailored it that alcohol consumption is not permitted when carrying your concealed weapon,” he said.

During the committee debate, Sen. Shane Massey brought up a story about a CWP holder standing outside a restaurant that was being robbed, but not being able to do anything about it because he couldn’t bring his gun into the restaurant.

Other people told similar stories of CWP holders being robbed or feeling threatened while they were inside a restaurant.

This comes after a similar bill was passed by the South Carolina House of Representatives last year by 90-5, but because Senate never took action, it was not put into place.



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